Zimbabwe in Crisis: Thoughts and Ideas?

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The Good Soldie...
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Aug 2 2005 17:07
Zimbabwe in Crisis: Thoughts and Ideas?

One news story that's been faintly impossible to avoid of late is the relentless metdown, politically and economically, of Zimbabwe.

Stories of land seizures have been rather forgotten after the recent ghastly events where slum dwellers were cleared, and their homes and businesses destroyed, allegedly as reprisal for backing the opposition MDC against Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

it's hard to know who to side with really. Clearly Mugabe is a senile and murderous arsehole, but those ranged against him (Bush, Blair, the right wing broadsheet press, Ian Smith white-minority rule nostalgiacs) hardly commend themselves to support or sympathy either. meanwhile Mugabe, frozen out of the EU/US markets, has cut a deal with the Chinese, and is further bailing out his sinking ship with an alleged billion dollar loan from Thabo Mbeki.

What are people's thoughts/opinions/knowledge on this matter? It seems staggering that one of the most prominent and developed African nations is, well, just being allowed to sink into starvation and ruin because, er, well, nothing can be done about it you know, and,erm, the army's tied up in the Middle East....

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 2 2005 18:41

Mugabe's regime is actually very weak internally. I don't just mean he faces the MDC and old farts like Smith, but that the revolutionary nationalist forces that brought him to power are by no means united behind him. Take 'Hitler' Hunzu, the leader of the veteran movement that Mugabe used against the white farmers and black laboureres -- Hunzu was one of the biggest threats to Mugabe until he was bought off with all that land.

Compare this with the case of South Africa, where, for all its internal strife, the ANC-SACP is still fairly united as a ruling class. Zimbabwe is in a mess because its social and political forces have been at war internally for some time now sad

thaw
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Aug 3 2005 04:30

Zimbabwe in crisis, because the press tells you so. How many other places are 'in crisis'?

And what constitutes a crisis? People eating leaves? Liberals wringing hands? IMF imposing neo-liberal policies on dirt-poor countries?

Sorry soldier, no personal offence intended.

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PaulMarsh
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Aug 3 2005 06:15

Perhaps you should go and live there thaw, if you think its OK and not in crisis, and people who even raise it as an issue are twats?

The Good Soldie...
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Aug 3 2005 07:48
thaw wrote:
Zimbabwe in crisis, because the press tells you so. How many other places are 'in crisis'?

And what constitutes a crisis? People eating leaves? Liberals wringing hands? IMF imposing neo-liberal policies on dirt-poor countries?

Just fuck off, non-thinking twat, 'Good Soldier'.

Stahkanovite

perhaps you should enlighten us all with your oh-so-superior knowledge and wisdom, then?

Cos obviously everyone's making it up.

Wankstain. roll eyes

Allysaundre
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Aug 3 2005 12:05
thaw wrote:
Zimbabwe in crisis, because the press tells you so. How many other places are 'in crisis'?

And what constitutes a crisis? People eating leaves? Liberals wringing hands? IMF imposing neo-liberal policies on dirt-poor countries?

Are you implying that a rigid, essentialist definition is needed to determine what is or is not a crisis? I think its fair to say that Zimbabwe is a particular case in point and something needs to be done about Mugabe's authoritarian government.

So are you actually claiming that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe? Because it's not just the right-wing press who feel that there is, the liberal and left-wing press do, as do groups such as Amnesty International.

Personally, to address the actual issue, I feel that Mugabe's power base will collapse given time, but that this process will result in the sorts of problems that Soldier mentioned. I feel nothing wrong with condemning Mugabe simply because people like Bush, Blair or White-rule supporters also condemn him also. In fact, I feel that it makes it more important for those who have a more sensible moral and political take on the situation to condemn Mugabe so as to present a more sympathetic alternative to the likes of Bush and Blair. Which is one of the reasons I was pleased when the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke out against the deportation of Zimbabwe's political refugees.

I think overall, however, the true solution to the problem lies with the people of that country itself. I'm not sure that direct foreign intervention will get Zimbabwe anywhere fast and may even, in certain scenarios, strengthen Mugabe's grip and give more meat to his rhetoric (which is what it appears to be doing). Further, to add salt to the wound, China's involvement in this is frightfully distressing.

Be well,

Rob Mills

The Good Soldie...
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Aug 3 2005 13:04

Good post- I agree that military intervention, as well as being a logistical nightmare for anyone foolish enough to undertake it, is undesirable from just about every other POV.

In the absence of military coercion, however, what can be done practically?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 3 2005 14:03

Support independent trade unions in Zimbabwe? Support the same in SA in the knwledge that this weakens the ANC's ability to support ZANU=PF?

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Lazy Riser
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Aug 3 2005 14:06

Hi

I’m more sympathetic to military intervention than most. If the rank and file soldiers themselves want to do it, then I’d be unlikely to oppose it.

Zimbabwe’s situation is, whilst not inevitable, a likely outcome in a chain of events driven by public economic insecurity and modern techniques of behavioural conditioning employed by the bourgeoisie to keep order whilst maintaining their privileged status.

Intervention, of one kind or another, will eventually resolve the tension. Consumer capitalism, Blair’s “gay lifestyle”, will eventually woo the followers of the warring factions to swap their weapons for burger flippers. However, it suits the international ruling elite to allow Zimbabwe to fester for a while longer, to remind their own populations where they’ll be if they don’t toe the line.

To take that country, I’d flood it with crack and surround it with Kentuckies and brothels. Wonder why they’d didn’t do the same with Iraq?

Peace and Love

Chris

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 3 2005 14:26
Lazy Riser wrote:
I’m more sympathetic to military intervention than most. If the rank and file soldiers themselves want to do it, then I’d be unlikely to oppose it.

The day we get a democratic army you'll be the first to know.

The Good Soldie...
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Aug 3 2005 14:27

That's a good point Laszlo- buit does anyone here know how strong such independent unions are, and how feasible a candidate they are for effective resistance to, and toppling of, ZANU-PF?

The only thing we hear about in the media is MDC- which presumably doesn;t tell the whole story of the various forces united in opposition to what appears to be a weak regime.

'Hitler' Hunzvi is now dead IIRC.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Aug 3 2005 14:50

The SWPs' S-African equivalent supports the MDC, IIRC...

Personally, in order to find out more I'd start off talking to Southern African groups that I already trust. There's already quite a few good ones in South Africa. Plus I'd start reading the relevant press.

No solution is going to come out of a box, and without some serious research first I'm not sure there's any easy solidarity work to be done from over here.

The Good Soldie...
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Aug 3 2005 14:54

True.

The on-line 'Zimbabwe Independent' is a good weekly resource for updates...anyone else have decent links on the net?

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JDMF
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Aug 3 2005 16:26
The Good Soldier Svejk wrote:
The on-line 'Zimbabwe Independent' is a good weekly resource for updates...anyone else have decent links on the net?

www.zabalaza.net often has communiques from zim zomrades on their forum/news site, as well as in their email lists.

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Steven.
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Aug 3 2005 16:27
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
The SWPs' S-African equivalent supports the MDC, IIRC...

Personally, in order to find out more I'd start off talking to Southern African groups that I already trust. There's already quite a few good ones in South Africa. Plus I'd start reading the relevant press.

The SWP's international used to have an MDC MP - I heard he left the MDC though confused

www.zabalaza.net occasionally has some very good stuff about Africa from a w/c pov, don't know if they've written anything about Zimbabwe now though...

thaw
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Aug 3 2005 21:43

I have apologised now, wasn't myself.

But I do think there is a really good case for military intervention in the US and UK, due to their inhumane murderous acts against other human beings..

More sorry.

Sob (100.000 people dead? That's ok? |Really it's not. Gasp, sob. Really it's not OK at all./ At all.

MalFunction
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Aug 4 2005 16:16

greets

the good people at zabalaza have indeed written about zimbabwe.

check out the latest issue of the zine here:

http://www.zabalaza.net/articles/zab6.htm#zim

scroll down for the zimbabwe article

mal

(whilst at the website have a good look around

lots of interesting stuff)

afraser
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Aug 7 2005 23:30
Quote:
it's hard to know who to side with really. Clearly Mugabe is a senile and murderous arsehole, but those ranged against him (Bush, Blair, the right wing broadsheet press, Ian Smith white-minority rule nostalgiacs) hardly commend themselves to support or sympathy either.

It's a choice of two evils: Mugabe or Blair etc. Mugabe is the worst of those and that dictates who to side with.

Quote:
What are people's thoughts/opinions/knowledge on this matter? It seems staggering that one of the most prominent and developed African nations is, well, just being allowed to sink into starvation and ruin because, er, well, nothing can be done about it you know, and,erm, the army's tied up in the Middle East....

Is an issue for the Zimbabweans. Hate to be harsh, but he's their tyrant, not ours, so let them get rid of him. A British invasion (god forbid) should I think only be supported in the event of mass murder of such a scale as to be approaching genocide - and there is nothing like that in Zimbabwe. Hideous though Mugabe is, the media are only singling him out from all the other equally hideous African regimes because of the white farmers.

Quote:
meanwhile Mugabe, frozen out of the EU/US markets, has cut a deal with the Chinese, and is further bailing out his sinking ship with an alleged billion dollar loan from Thabo Mbeki.

It is said that only free electricity from the SA grid keeps Zimbabwe going at all. Maybe Thabo Mbeki sees Mugabe using campaigns of justice against unfairly rich whites as a cover for looting his country for his cronies ... and likes what he sees. Is a shame since he was once a genunine socialist fighter, but then so was Mugabe.

A genuine people's regime in Zimbabwe would certainly look at exporopriating the white farmers - they have (had) 70% of the commercial farmland in Zimbabwe, all stolen at gunpoint during Cecil Rhodes time. But would want to phase that in, with partial compensation, allowing appeals to jury run land courts, re-allocating land only to committed farmers, creating banks to lend the new farmers the substantial funds they require to run a farming business. If the white farmers are really as productive as they claim (seems unlikely to me, although that is from thousands of miles away), they might even end up confirmed with their landholdings forever.

Allysaundre
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Aug 8 2005 00:45
afraser wrote:
Hideous though Mugabe is, the media are only singling him out from all the other equally hideous African regimes because of the white farmers.

I'm certainly in agreement with that, as much as I dislike Mugabe, I am angry at the fact that there was much less coverage of the problems at Darfur than I had felt was needed. I'm not sure whether it's because of the white farmers or not, but certainly he has been targetted more than the Darfur incident, which is at least as bad as anything Mugabe has done so far.

Be well,

Rob Mills

Clyde
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Aug 24 2005 23:32

afraser

why is mugabe the worst and why do we have to 'side' with anyone? Any evidence to back up your bald assertions? I believe that Israel have demolished thousands of homes without comment from the western media (aided and abetted by western firms of course, eg caterpillar)

I would have thought that Bush and Blair's records were worse in fact.

Also, shouldn't we be boycotting Israel?

And the famine in Africa is not a famine - don't you throw out food daily? Well so does the west, big style (unless you can afford it you can starve in the non-west now)

Your shallow, pallid and basically ill-thought-out thesis now sucks pal.

PS White Rhodesia was our fault - yes? responsibility/accountability - corporate words that mean nada.

I can tell you much worse stories, bad as these are.

black bloc